Monday, November 10, 2008

Instructor's Tip: Proper Portraiture Perspective

Enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. The photo(s) in this post were taken by Russ Burden.

Proper Portraiture Perspective

I often get asked what is the proper lens to make a portrait. I respond with one of many questions. Are you creating a head shot or a full length shot? Is it a group portrait or a shot of one person? Will the background in the area in which you’re shooting be distracting? As you can see there are variables that need to be addressed before I can give a “correct” answer. The bottom line is the best lens is the one that allows you to properly frame the subject at a specific distance that yields the perspective you desire.

To create portraits, I’ve used focal lengths from 28mm to 300mm. If I work in tight quarters photographing a group of people, the situation dictates a wide angle lens. The size of the quarters coupled with the number of people determines how wide I need to go. With single subjects, if all I need is a head shot, my first action is to evaluate facial features. For instance, if the nose is long, I tend to use a longer focal length lens to compress the distance from the face. The result is a smaller looking nose in the picture. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If people photography is your thing, use this article as motivation to learn more.


To learn more about how Russ captured this image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

No comments:

Best Posts

Picture Your World Photography is a premiere photographer in the Denver, Colorado Photographer community on